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Tech Industry Leaders Call S.F. 'Lawless' After Bob Lee Stabbing

Fury erupted as word spread that the 43-year-old man who had been stabbed to death this week in an enclave of high-rise condominiums near San Francisco's Bay Bridge was Bob Lee, a well-known tech executive. The leaders of a “lawless” city had Lee’s “literal blood on their hands,” tweeted Matt Ocko, a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist in Palo Alto, Ca. “I hate what San Francisco has become,” added Michael Arrington, the founder of the industry blog TechCrunch. “Violent crime in SF is horrific,” said Elon Musk chief executive of Twitter and Tesla. The drumbeat has continued in the liberal city that last year recalled its progressive district attorney amid calls for law and order and deepening frustration over the homelessness crisis. While city officials agree that the murder is a terrifying tragedy, they’re clashing with powerful figures in the tech sector over the nature and severity of the city’s problems with crime, the New York Times reports.

“A small minority has tried to weaponize this tragedy to advance a narrative about a crime wave that just isn’t borne out by the data in San Francisco,” said Kevin Benedicto, a police commissioner. At a commission meeting earlier in the week, Benedicto complained that some on social media “are exploiting this horrific incident for political gain.” He told the Times, “There are real problems about crime that need to be addressed in San Francisco,, but you’re seeing people from tech, from certain political circles, who are trying to draw explicit connections to certain policies and elected officials when we don’t even yet know the facts of the case.” The the tech industry is imploding with layoffs and San Francisco is struggling to bring visitors, conventions and legions of remote workers back to the quiet area in and around its downtown. Office vacancy rates in the city of 808,000 stood at 27 percent at the end of last year. In the Lee case, a local online news organization founded by a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, The San Francisco Standard, reported that surveillance cameras had caught Lee staggering along the deserted street outside a high rise, clutching his wounds and calling for help. He appears to be stumbling toward a car, and then falling to the ground as the car drives away.

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